It is so great to finally be back in my apartment and sleep in my own bed after three weeks of wandering around Europe and the USA East Coast. I love the adventure of traveling and the escape from responsibility, but the many flight delays and general logistical annoyances were wearing me down so I’m happy to be home. I’ll be posting travel photos soon, but I’ve spent the entire day catching up with my RSS reader.
For instance, in the time I was gone, SNSD (aka Girls’ Generation, my current favorite K-pop group) had announced, promoted, and released their latest mini-album. I didn’t like SNSD’s music until their “Gee” mini-album came out early January 2009. “Gee” is the single most addictive pop song I’ve ever heard and it instantly became a phenomenon, shattering records in South Korea and attracting new SNSD fans the world over. There were rumors that SNSD would be making a comeback this summer after stopping “Gee” promotions a few months ago, and while I was in Europe, they revealed their new military concept for the next mini-album. I loved it instantly when I saw it. HOT!
The featured song “Tell Me Your Wish” isn’t as perfect and catchy as “Gee”, but I like it. Click the link to see the music video and be wowed at their legs. Whoever designed the choreography and costumes are geniuses. I’m always on the fence about Korean celebrities and their plastic-surgery good looks, but you can’t manufacture those kinds of legs!
This military image is just the latest in the evolution of SNSD concepts over their career.
2007 – Into the New World
2007 – Girls’ Generation
2008 – Kissing You
2008 – Baby Baby
2009 – Gee
2009 – Genie
I love this concept, the girls are looking amazing and they will be conquering their competition with military power. “Gee” was only the beginning.
2010 – Oh!
SNSD’s 2nd album concept has been revealed. I’m not a big fan of this one. The retro / gypsy look is awkward on them and is a step backwards from the modern/edgy direction I thought they were going. However, it totally doesn’t match the style of the music video teaser so perhaps this is a red herring.
2010 – Run Devil Run
SNSD’s repackage of the 2nd album features a bold new look. Finally, the long-awaited “edgy” concept. Clean, sleek and sexy. I love it! Moreover, this further confirms my theory that for singers to change their image from “cute” to “sexy”, all they have to do is wear black and look pissed off.
2010 – Genie (Japanese debut)
SNSD finally debuts in Japan! Their Japanese debut single is a remake of “Genie – Tell Me Your Wish”. The continuation of Run Devil Run’s black modern chic concept is fabulous. However, their Japanese music video sends mixed messages, with conflicting cutesy girl outfits as well as military designs similar to the Korean Genie version. The modern look is nowhere to be seen in the MV. I suppose SNSD wants to present a multi-dimensional image for a foreign country debut.
2010 – Gee (Japanese version)
After enjoying tremendous success in Japan with their debut, SNSD is riding the momentum by quickly bringing out the Japanese version of Gee. The accompanying concept is a return to the girly SNSD. I miss the skinny jeans which are synonymous with the Korean Gee era, but hopefully they’ll show up in the upcoming Japanese Gee music video and subsequent promotions.
2010 – Hoot
Hoot is the lead title for SNSD’s 3rd Korean mini-album and has a concept centered around a ’60s James Bond girl / secret agent theme. Very smart move that should open up a variety of outfits for the music video and promotional activities. At this point in time, SNSD has just finished an ultra successful concert in Taiwan and is simultaneously #1 on both the Japanese and Korean music charts with “Gee” and “Hoot”, respectively. Perhaps a more fitting theme for Hoot would be a James Bond villian because SNSD’s plans for Asia domination are coming to fruition…
2011 – Mr. Taxi
SNSD’s 3rd Japanese single is not a remake for once and features their new song “Mr. Taxi”. The Japanese version of Run Devil Run is also included, however. “Black SNSD” makes a comeback, this time with a more upscale, classy image.
2011 – The Boys
After taking quite a long break, SNSD makes an eagerly awaited comeback with their 3rd Korean full album. They’re continuing the fierce, mature look they’ve been having success with, although it’s starting to get a bit generic and I miss the well-defined concepts of yore. Coinciding with the Korean album launch is an incredibly awful English version of “The Boys”, this album’s title song. Not to say that the Korean version is excellent, by any means. This space isn’t meant to be a review, so I’ll say that I’m not feeling this album and leave it at that.